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Skin Tight [Mass Market Paperback]

Carl Hiaasen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2002
Somebody wants Mick Stranahan dead. Mick is sure of this, because he just had to dispatch a pistol-packing intruder with the help of a stuffed marlin head. But who would want to hurt a former Florida state investigator? The answer is plenty of peopleas Stranahan soon finds himself acquainted with a litter of nefarious players, including a hit man whose skin problems could fill a comprehensive (if bizarre) medical textbook, a lawyer of questionable repute who advertises on billboards, and a TV show host whose taste for sensationalism is exceeded only by his vanity. The whole thing gets downright harrowing for the ex-cop in one of Hiaasen's most breathtaking, madcap romps everwhere even a plastic surgeon with extremely shaky hands waits to wring Stranahan's neck....

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From Publishers Weekly

"Hiaasen's latest thriller is his funniest and sharpest novel to date. Set in a south Florida swarming with ripoff artists, crooked cops, nude sunbathers and corrupt politicians, it features a Mafia-connected plastic surgeon with butterfingers, a bitchy Hollywood starlet, a remarkably inept hit man and a pompous TV journalist 'nationally famous for getting beaten up on camera,' " said PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for the addicted Nov. 6 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Carl Hiaasen's books are, well, different. They are not mysteries but essentially satire, bitter and almost off-the-wall commentary on south Florida and its seedy, greedy denizens. Blood, gore, and plenty of action characterize Skin Tight which examines the world of incompetent plastic surgeons and Geraldo-type TV confrontational hosts. Of course there is a hero--Mike Stranahan--who bears a faint resemblance to Travis McGee, minus the cerebral musings of what-life-is-all-about.
Somebody wants Mike Stranahan killed, a guy with five previous wives and five people he's killed, including two in Vietnam, who now retired from law enforcement lives in a stilt house out in the mud flads of south Florida with his only companion a barracuda that Stranahan feeds each day. A 6 foot 9 hit man with a disfigured face and, later in the story, with a weed-whacker attached for an artificial arm, a couple of unbelievably nasty cops, a crooked lawyer who's married to Stranahan's sister, and, of course, a few assorted females of varying degrees of integrity and beauty are included in the cast.
One thing in Hiaasen stories is that the bad guys usually get their come-uppance, usally very messily and sometimes ghoulishly amusing. I'd remembered other Hiaasen stories as reasonably well written. Perhaps my standards have changed, but Skin Tight has most of its characters talking in interchangeable words and expressions. So if you're addicted to Hiaasen, go ahead. If not, there are other authors who give you a better read for the time.
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By lazza
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Skin Tight is a classic roller-coaster comic mystery by that Carl "Florida - paradise lost" Hiaasen. His satire has never been so caustic, or so humorous. Some folks might find it all a bit cruel and, if you've read anything else by Hiaasen, a bit repetitive. Yet Skin Tight delivers belly laughs, which has to be a good thing.
As for the (complicated and over-the-top) plot, we have an incredibly crooked and incompetent plastic surgeon suspected of killing a patient and disposing of the body (in a very creative fashion). As the police and other interested parties come down on this surgeon he employs very colorful thugs to eliminate these troublemakers ... yet everything goes wrong. On top of this he has a Hispanic shock-TV host (similarities to Geraldo Rivera are probably intentional) wanting to capture this ... on live television. Everything spins wildly out of control. Yet the vibrant characterizations, the clever one-liners, and cruel attacks on these rich, selfish and vain individuals make Skin Tight very enjoyable. And unlike his other works, the story is not too Florida-centric (although it takes place in Miami) ... and so it should be enjoyable to most everyone who is familiar with American popular culture.
Bottom line: sick, twisted and very funny. Perhaps Hiaasen's best. Strongly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Hiaasen May 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Skin Tight will undoubtedly appeal to almost all Hiaasen fans, that is for those fans of this author who for some reason have not already read this early classic of his. I agree with a prior reviewer that these novels, all set in South Florida, are not accurately described as "mysteries" or "thrillers", since there is very little mystery associated with the plot and the action is always a little madcap and far fetched.
Skin Tight involves former State Investigator Mick Stranahan, who lives a hermit's existence out in Biscayne Bay in an historic house on stilts in the water (part of the locally famous Stiltsville property, which the Federal Governement is actually about to tear down). As the action unfolds, Mick is rudely interrupted at his small house on the water by a hit man intruder, who is dispatched by our hero with the help of a stuffed blue marlin. This should give you a good idea of what is to come.
Like all protagonists in Hiaasen novels, Mick is 40-ish, ruggedly good-looking (seemingly every women in every novel has a crush on the main character), and jaded from a series of bad marriages. We learn that Mick has married five waitresses over the course of his life, as he has a dangerous habit of falling madly in love on a whim. In any event, the story of the novel revolves around an old missing persons case with ties to a shady and incompetent plastic surgeon (hence the name), a shyster lawyer brother-in-law with garish billboards all over South Florida, and a cast of crooked Dade County cops and County Commissioners.
As any fan of Hiaasen comes to expect, the bad guys seem to eventually get what's coming to them, there is always a rogue gangster or hitman around for a few laughs (in this book the hit man loses a hand and replaces it with a weed whacker), and the handsome hero somehow always gets the girl without compromising his principles. Formulaic, sure, but always a heck of a ride. Skin Tight is one of Carl's better novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can a weed-whacker be funny? You bet! Dec 28 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am always amused when I see Hiassen's books referred to as 'mysteries' or 'thrillers'. People who want these kinds of books won't really find them in Hiassen's work. What he creates are darkly comic morality plays about excess - specifically that of south Florida. What is wonderful about his books, apart from the zany characters, great dialogue and memorable absurdaties, is that in each one we see the 'forces of evil' suffer the fates they deserve. Maybe good doesn't triumph in real life, but Hiassen gives us the satisfaction of seeing horrible things happen to horrible people.
In Skin Tight, Hiassen gives us his usual cast of interesting and very peculiar players drawn from the mix of modern day Miami. Without giving any of the plot away, I will only say that there are two things about this book that I bet will stay with any reader: the fate that befalls the vain and insufferable TV host in his Geraldolike quest at expose and the character Chemo's choice of a prosthesis - a weed-whacker. These are a couple of the overthetop high points in Skin Tight, one of Hiaseen's grizzliest and funniest tales.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars funny Floridian capers
Of the two Hiaasen books I've read so far, I rate this a slight notch below Stormy Weather. This book is still very funny and highly entertaining, but Stormy Weather brings the... Read more
Published on Dec 2 2007 by Paul J. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
SKIN TIGHT has a tad bit (ok, a lot) of naughtiness and deaths of characters. Otherwise, the sick humor and the strange and funny events will keep you laughing. Read more
Published on March 28 2006 by Eric L. Neggilfan
4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller that has humor
Some one is out to kill Mick Stranahan, a retired state investigator. He kills an intruder with a trophy spearfish, and soon afterward, his ex-wife is drowned. Read more
Published on April 19 2005 by Janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Nip/Tuck on FX? This is for you!
Sleazy plastic surgeons- stupid criminals- insanely vacuous socialites- all are at home in the South Florida that belongs to Carl Hiaasen. Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by K. J. Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind
Carl Hiaasen is a one of a kind of author. His books are so unique that at first you'll be taken aback by the writing, the sarcasm, the wit. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fun, Book!
I really loved this story. The characters were well-developed and the plot had me eagerly wanting to read more! (I'm a fan!)
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Diane McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious--i want some more of this guy!
My brother gave me this book, and it's the first Hiassen book I've read, and I give it two thumbs up. This author is truly hilarious! Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Moral indignation expressed through cynical, viscious humor
While I was reading Skin Tight, someone asked me what the book was about. As I tried to describe the basic storyline, I realized that the plot is not only hard to explain but... Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by nielsenmat
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen makes us laugh at society's moral rot
As usual, Hiaasen's Skin Tight is set in south Florida, a planet of its own making. Swarming with society's weirdos, it features an inept plastic surgeon with ties to the Mafia,... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Peggy Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book
Carl Hiassen is a wonderfully funny, yet thrilling author. This story leads you through a murder mystery with all kinds of crazy characters and circumstances. Read more
Published on May 7 2003 by TJ's Mommy
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